Revealed today ahead of its European launch in March, the arrival of the ActiveHybrid 5 follows its concept unveiling at last year's Geneva Motor Show.
Power for the ActiveHybrid 5 is provided by the same 225kW/400Nm turbocharged six-cylinder driving the 535i, combined with a 40kW/210Nm electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Together, the system generates 250kW and 450Nm of torque, pushing the ActiveHybrid 5 to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds.
While only a hair quicker than the 535i's 6.1 second sprint, the ActiveHybrid 5 uses considerably less fuel - between 6.4 and 7.0 l/100km, compared to 8.4 l/100km for its petrol-only stablemate.
Compared to the existing 535d, the ActiveHybrid 5's numbers are more or less on par. Power for the diesel is lower at 220kW, but torque is higher at 600Nm and its 0-100km/h time is slightly quicker at 5.7 seconds.
Importantly, the diesel's combined fuel consumption is listed at 6.1 l/100km.
ActiveHybrid 5 technology
Fuel consumption is further improved by a start/stop system and an ECO PRO mode, which shuts off the petrol engine while coasting at speeds up to 160km/h.
Sandwiched between the petrol engine and the ZF-sourced eight-speed auto, the electric motor also operates as a generator under decelleration and helps charge the rear-mounted high-voltage battery pack.
The eletric motor's lithium-ion battery pack gives the ActiveHybrid an aditional advantage, with an all-electric driving range of 4km, at speeds up to 60km/h.
The battery pack's position in the boot does force one concession, however: rear storage is down to 375 litres, 145 litres less than the regular 5 Series.
Lastly, the ActiveHybrid 5 features a "Forward-looking Intelligent Energy Management" system, designed to analyse the driving situation and optimise the drive components for optimum efficiency.
The system allows the car to read the conditions ahead and adjust its performance to suit, priming the regerative braking system if the road is about to slope downhill or engaging electric-only drive if the battery is full and the car is just a few kilometres from its destination.
On the styling front, the ActiveHybrid 5 is largely unchanged from the regular model, gaining only a set of identifying badges and unique alloy wheels.
Speaking with TMR today, BMW Australia's Lucy McLellan said that while a local launch has not been confirmed, the brand is "certainly looking very closely at the ActiveHybrid 5 for Australia."